Military Sexual Assault Attorney

Private Attorney for Military Defense

Military Sexual Assault Defense

There has been a dramatic shift in military culture and UCMJ law. Owing partially to pop culture and the recent #metoo movement, the military has followed the aggressive, sometimes crazed pursuit of taking sexual assault claims seriously. This has led to many innocent servicemen and women being punished for crimes they did not commit. The result: loss of their military careers, liberties, pension, and military benefits.  

Sex Offender Registration

One of the most dire consequences arising from a sexual assault conviction is the specter of becoming a registered sex offender. And depending on the state or local civilian jurisdiction you are planning on returning home to after any sentence your adjudged is completed your problems could just be beginning in so far as being required to be registered in your locality as a sex offender. This registration process is not controlled by the military but by the states. While there are similarities between states, each state has its own requirements and manner of determining what you must do regarding things like how often you must report to the requisite law enforcement agency, where you can live, who you must notify, etc. So, it becomes even more imperative that you get someone like Aden Wilkie fighting for you early, as a conviction for sexual assault in the military could affect you for the rest of your life.   

Start Fighting Against UCMJ Article 120 Charges

They don’t call Aden Wilke the Devil Dog Defender for no reason. His tenacity and passion for defending military men and women in court has garnered him a formidable reputation. If you are facing UCMJ article 120 charges, do not take it lightly. If convicted, you could lose everything you’ve worked for in your military career. Worse than that, you could end up in prison for years. With the right military defense attorney, you could fight these charges and win. Aden Wilkie is located in Jacksonville, NC, but services the surrounding states as well. He is also able to service any military installation located in the United States, but travel fees will apply. The Devil Dog Defender is the top military attorney of the armed forces at Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg as well as a number of other bases, camps, stations, and posts across the U.S. Contact him today online or by calling 910-333-9626.

 

UCMJ article 120 identifies specific criminal offenses related to sexual assault. They include rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse. This applies to service members in the United States. It could include physical abuse or threatening abuse to another person. Specifically, abuse related to sexual contact, groping, or repeated unwanted sexual advances.

There are four main categories of offenses in article 120. These include:

  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Aggravated sexual contact
  • Abusive sexual contact

In the case of sexual assault and rape, according to the law, the government must prove that penetration took place. They also must prove that harm was caused. The government must prove physical harm with aggravated sexual contact as well. However, in that case, they do not need to prove that penetration took place.  For abusive sexual contact, the standards the government must meet are lower. It is basically a “catch all” for cases that don’t fall under the first three categories.

According to the UCMJ, abusive sexual contact can include any of the following forms of sexual
contact:

  • Forcing someone else to touch the male or female genitalia, anus inner thigh, buttocks or breasts
  • Groping
  • Touching

The touching can be direct. It can be carried out using any part of the body or with an object.

 

The claimant must prove that the accused had the intent to degrade, abuse, humiliate or harass
them. Lastly, abusive sexual contact is different from sexual contact. This is because the contact either caused bodily harm or was carried out on someone unconscious or incapable of giving consent. 

 

Under this standard, the threat of bodily harm with respect to abusive sexual contact does not
include threat of:

  • Death
  • Grievous bodily harm
  • Kidnapping

These factors would evaluate the claim to aggravated sexual contact.

The punishment under UCMJ article 120 depends on the alleged offense. 

Rape

  • Forced forfeiture of all of your pay and allowances
  • Confinement for up to a life sentence without the possibility of parole

A rape conviction comes with a mandatory minimum sentence:

  • Dismissal or dishonorable discharge 

Sexual Assault

  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for up to 30 years

The mandatory minimum sentence for sexual assault includes

  • Dismissal or dishonorable discharge

Aggravated Sexual Assault 

  • Dishonorable discharge
  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for up to 20 years

Abusive Sexual Contact

  • Dishonorable discharge
  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for up to 7 years

Anyone who has faced charges under the UCMJ knows that it can be incredibly stressful. But don’t forget: these charges are often fraught with emotion and lacking logic. Do not give up. You can fight these charges with the help of an experienced military attorney. Here is our most common strategy:

  • Prove that you are innocent.

    • The most effective defense against false allegations is simple: show that you are truly innocent. If you have a strong alibi, you can demonstrate that there is no possible way that you could have committed the crime.
  • Find evidence of a wrongful accusation.

    • Unfortunately, some sexual assault allegations are false. Sometimes people make false accusations in order to take revenge or hurt an enemy.
  • Prove that there was consent.

    • If you can prove that the accuser gave consent, this can negate the charges. In order to be convicted, the contact must have occurred without the consent of the victim
  • Demonstrate a lack of evidence.

    • These types of cases are difficult to prosecute. Why? Because evidence is often lacking. Many times these cases are brought with mere hearsay and no physical evidence.

There are eight different criminal offenses under article 120. This is staggering. Each of these offenses has several elements including stalking (120a), rape and sexual assault of a child (120b) and “other sexual misconduct.” This is an extremely broad term that could mean just about anything according to a prosecutor and accuser. 

Do not be intimidated by all of the complex parts of UCMJ article 120. Aden Wilkie is an experienced, aggressive military defense attorney. He knows these laws well and has successfully defended many clients against bogus charges under the UCMJ. In order to prepare for your trial, he will meticulously go through the alleged events and your alibi. He will prepare the following:

  • Forensic Evidence

    • We will verify if the prosecution has DNA evidence or any other type of forensic evidence. Does it put you at the scene of the crime?
    • Do not forget: just because prosecutors might have told you that they have evidence against you, does not mean that they will be able to convict you. We can hire our own DNA expert. This will help us question the government’s DNA evidence. 
    • Sometimes, we can have DNA evidence suppressed before it ever shows up in your trial.
    • “Touch” DNA can be present for all sorts of reasons such as shared living space, article of clothing worn by multiple parties, transfer of DNA on things like doors, tables and other commonly used household items. This becomes increasing the case where the accuser might be living in the same house or living space. 
  • Preparing Witnesses

    • Many cases take on the form of the classic “he said, she said.” In this case, the victim’s words and the defendant’s words are pitted against each other.
    • If this is the case, we can cross examine the victim. This will identify possible holes in his or her story.
    • We can call character witnesses. These are people that can defend your reputation.
    • We will hire expert medical witnesses if necessary. They will be able to counter forensic evidence that prosecutors might have against you. 
  • Sentence Reduction

    • Many of these cases lead to government overreach. You should not be a victim of emotional, reactive legal action. 
    • In the military, more so than in state or federal court the prosecutors take cases to trial that would otherwise be dismissed outright or refuse to prosecute due to lack of requisite evidence and likelihood of an acquittal. And this decision is due to no only overreach of the prosecutors, but concerns by the Convening Authorities that a failure to refer such allegations to the court system could be seen as being soft on sexual assault allegations and become a topic of conversation between them or their bosses with certain elected officials.
    • If the prosecutor is trying to turn you into a scapegoat, you need the right type of defender. Having a good military defense attorney could mean the difference between an administrative discharge and time in prison.